In what is being seen as a “different voice” from within the party, BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Friday wondered if those observing Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary would pledge to keep religion out of politics. “On this Gandhi Jayanti, can we pledge to keep religion and religion-based violence out of politics,” he tweeted. His party may not appreciate his sentiment, especially since one of its ministers has sought to defend the lynching in Dadri as an “accident”. Earlier, Varun drew the ire of some party leaders and RSS ideologues when he spoke out against capital punishment, saying that most of the death row convicts were Dalits or minorities.
After fielding its senior leaders to pacify bahubalis who were upset over the ticket distribution in Bihar, the BJP has appointed another set of leaders to target the age group between 18-40 years. As part of party chief Amit Shah’s micro-managed strategy, the BJP has collected data on this age group that it considers as pro-development, anti-corruption and anti-crime.
The presentations by the ministries that are currently underway in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are a challenge. First, the ministers of state are required to make the presentations. Second, contrary to the established
practice, the presentations have to be in Hindi, not English. So officials in various ministries face the task of coaching the junior ministers as well as translating the usual officialese into Hindi.
IS On Agenda
It was the first such invitation extended to an Indian policing agency. Last week, National Investigation Agency chief Sharad Kumar attended a conference organised by Europol — the law enforcement agency of the European Union — at The Hague in Netherlands. While the Indian government has downplayed concerns about the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) radicalisation in the country, it is learned that the issue of an increasing number of foreign fighters joining the IS in Iraq and Syria was discussed in detail at the conference.